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Chris Anderson (entrepreneur)

Chris Anderson (born 1957) is the head of TED, a nonprofit organization that provides idea-based talks and hosts an annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Previously he founded Future Publishing.

Chris Anderson
TED Curator Chris Anderson.jpg
Anderson in 2013
Born1957 (age 61–62)
Alma materUniversity of Oxford
OccupationJournalist, publisher
Known forCurator of TED Talks
Spouse(s)Lucy Evans
Children3 (1 deceased)


Early lifeEdit

Anderson was born in Pakistan in 1957.[1] His father was "an eye surgeon and evangelical Christian", and ran a mobile hospital in rural Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.[2] He has two sisters, and is the middle child.[2]

He studied at Woodstock School in the Himalayan mountains of Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India, before moving to Monkton Combe School, a boarding school in Bath, England.[3][4]

At the University of Oxford, he studied physics, then changed to philosophy, politics and economics, graduating in 1978.[1][5]


Anderson began a career in journalism, working in newspapers and radio, including producing a world news service in the Seychelles.[1]

Back in the UK in 1984, Anderson was captivated by the home-computer revolution and became an editor at two of the UK's early computer magazines, Personal Computer Games and Zzap!64.[6][7] A year later he founded Future Publishing with a $25,000 bank loan. The new company initially focused on specialist computer publications but eventually expanded into other areas such as cycling, music, video games, technology and design, doubling in size every year for seven years.[1] In 1994, Anderson moved to the United States where he built Imagine Media, publisher of Business 2.0 magazine and creator of the popular video game users website IGN. Anderson eventually merged Imagine and Future, taking the combined entity public in London in 1999, under the Future US name.[1] At its peak, it published 150 magazines and websites and employed 2,000 people.[2]

This success allowed Anderson to create a private nonprofit organisation, the Sapling Foundation, with the hope of finding new ways to tackle tough global issues through media, technology, entrepreneurship and, most of all, ideas.[2]


In 2001, the foundation acquired the TED Conference, then an annual meeting of luminaries in the fields of technology, entertainment and design, held in Monterey, California, and Anderson left Future to work full-time on TED.[2]

He expanded the conference's remit to cover all topics, including science, business and key global issues, while adding a fellows program, which now has some 400 alumni, and the TED Prize, which granted its recipients $1 million and "one wish to change the world".[8][9]

In 2006, TED experimented with posting some of its talks on the Internet. Their viral success encouraged Anderson to begin positioning the organization as a global media initiative devoted to "ideas worth spreading". In June 2015, the organization posted its 2,000th talk online.[10] The talks are free to view, and they have been translated into more than 100 languages with the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world.[11][12] Viewership has grown to approximately one billion views per year.[1]

Continuing a strategy of "radical openness", in 2009 Anderson introduced the TEDx initiative, allowing free licenses to local organizers who wished to organize their own TED-like events.[13][11] More than 10,000 such events have been held, generating an archive of 100,000 TEDx talks.[14][15] Three years later, the TED-Ed program was launched, offering free educational videos and tools to students and teachers.[16]

In May 2016, Anderson published a book titled TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking which offers tips and advice for public speaking. The book became a New York Times bestseller.[17]

In April 2018, he unveiled a major upgrade to the TED Prize titled “The Audacious Project”, seeking to raise significant funding for bold philanthropic projects.[18][19]

Personal lifeEdit

Anderson is the father of three daughters, Zoe, Elizabeth and Anna, with his first wife Lucy Evans.[20] The eldest, Zoe, died in 2010 aged 24, from carbon monoxide poisoning.[21] [20]

Since 2008, he has been married to Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen, an organization that pioneered social impact investing.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Profile: Chris Anderson – TED Curator". Speaker Page. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Brown, Mick (29 April 2016). "'I was losing $1 million a day, every day for 18 months': Meet Chris Anderson, the man behind TED talks". Retrieved 9 August 2018 – via
  3. ^ "Tributes to "extraordinary" daughter of Future founder after Bath tragedy". Bath Chronicle. Local World Ltd. Retrieved 8 April 2016.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Chris Anderson '74". Woodstock. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Distinguished Alumni of Woodstock School – 2008 Chris Anderson '74". Woodstock School. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  6. ^ "The History of Zzap!64". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  7. ^ "out-of-print archive • Retro Future". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  8. ^ "TED Fellows Program". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  9. ^ "TED Prize". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  10. ^ "The TED Talks library, now 2,000 talks strong". TED Blog. 2015-06-16. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  11. ^ a b "History of TED". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  12. ^ "TED Translators". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  13. ^ "No, His Name Is Not Ted". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  14. ^ "TEDx | Event Listing | TED". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  15. ^ "Achievement unlocked: TEDx celebrates 100,000 talks!". TED Blog. 2017-10-19. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  16. ^ "Lessons Worth Sharing". TED-Ed. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  17. ^ "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous Books - Best Sellers - May 22, 2016 - The New York Times". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  18. ^ "Announcing ... The Audacious Project". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  19. ^ "A new initiative for launching big, audacious ideas". TED Blog. 2018-04-04. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  20. ^ a b "Plumber jailed after boiler killed millionaire's daughter". 17 April 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2018 – via
  21. ^ Tribute to daughter 'poisoned by carbon monoxide',, 31 January 2011; accessed 9 August 2015.
  22. ^ "World's Greatest Leaders: 9 dynamic duos". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-10-26.